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    Taking the Initiative Back For the Movement After the Brinsley Killings

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The killing of 2 NYPD officers by a Ismaaiyl Brinsley were the occasion for fascist cops, mostly Republicans and authoritarian liberal politicians, mostly Democrats along with their black civil rights and media spokespeople, to seize the initiative from the movement against police murder and brutality. But the movement can take the mic back. This issue of Black Agenda Report, which we hadn't planned on, is mostly about the movement response to the NYPD killings.
    We'll be back the first Tuesday or Wednesday in January. Happy holidays and peace, to those who fight for it, and everyone else.

    Cops Threaten a Blue Coup in New York City

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    New York City’s cops “threaten mutiny if the State does not stick up for the men and women who do its dirty work.” The police say they are now on a “wartime” footing – as if a state of a war has not existed between police and Black America for the past two generations.

    Freedom Rider: Cuba in the American Imagination

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The imperial mentality is not limited to the right wing of the American political spectrum. Some purported leftists greeted the opening to Cuba as if recognition by the U.S. was the greatest thing that ever happened to the island nation. The Cubans don’t see it that way, although they wanted the deal. “President Raul Castro stated in no uncertain terms that Cuba will remain socialist and will not extradite Assata Shakur or anyone else granted asylum by the government.”

    December 20, 1989: The Day that Black Lives Did Not Matter in Panama

    by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

    Twenty-five years ago, the U.S military bombed, shot and burned to death 3,000 people in the mostly Black neighborhood of El Chorillo, in the capital city of Panama. It was a war crime, within the larger crime of foreign invasion. “U.S. troops committed numerous other war crimes, from summary executions to the wanton destruction of civilian property and the failure to distinguish between civilian and military targets.”

    A Comparative Tale of Two Cop Killers - The Millers VS Ismaaiyl Brinsley

    by Davey D

    When a white couple killed two Nevada cops earlier this year, draping a tea party flag and swastikas on one of the corpses before being gunned down, we didn't hear a nationwide outcry about how cops feared for their lives. There was no pressure on open carry and tea party folks to denounce the killers. What does this kind of selective outrage tell us?

    Bloody hands of state

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Young and strong, marching
    All night long on search and
    Destroy missions, uprooting,
    Overturning, anything decayed 

    The Politics of Language Pt. 1: Six Concepts For This Movement's Continued Political Education

    by Danny Haiphong

    The battle against the Black Mass Incarceration State will move forward through both organized, concrete action and spontaneous rebellion. The goal is social transformation. “Capitalist ideology is merely window-dressing for a genocidal, racist system built on the graves of Black America and the material conditions that brought the #BlackLivesMatter movement to life.”

    Anti-Police Violence Organizing After Ismaaiyl Brinsley's Death

    by Michelle Matisons

    The three deaths in New York this past weekend – two cops, one young Black man with a gun – do not alter the issues and imperatives of the movement against police repression in Black America. However, “the corporate state's policing apparatus will do everything in its power to use this event as a further call to arms against protesting U.S. residents and communities of color.”

    The Police and the Massacre of Afro-Brazilian Youth

    by Brian Mier

    Brazil has the largest population of black people outside Africa, leads the planet in police murders of young blacks. Like their US counterparts, murderous Brazilian cops enjoy immunity and impunity. Besides the article published below, our friends at This Is Hell interviewed Brian Mier...

    Despite Deaths of Two Officers, Movement Against Police Brutality is Just

    by Johanna Fernández

    “The police are already using the killings of these cops as an opportunity to declare war against the black community and to criminalize the growing movement against police violence.”
    In real-world America, cops are rarely killed, yet their institutional behavior is central to the “crazy-making” of a racist society.

    Why Shaneka Thompson's Life Matters

    by Thandisizwe Chimurenga

    In their haste to seize a political opportunity with the killing of 2 NYPD officers by Ismaiyil Brinsley, corporate media, cops and politicians have shown once again whose causes and lives really matter. Brinsley's first victim was Shaneka Thompson. Remember her name. Her life matters too.

    Jamaica and the Politics of Debt Trap

    by Jeb Sprague

    In Jamaica, as in so much of the formerly colonized world, debt strangles development and negates national sovereignty. “Jamaica’s two main political parties are largely concerned with remaking Jamaica into a more globally competitive platform for transnational capital.”

    Cuba - An African Odyssey, Parts 1 and 2

    A Cuban Odyssey: Cuba's key role in the struggle for African Liberation

    An indispensable film by by Jihan El-Tahri.

    From its beginnings, the Cuban Revolution has been the indispensable ally of liberation forces on the African continent.

    This is part of the history that most Africans, and certainly every Cuban knows, but which few of us in the US, even activists and scholars are aware. It's also key to understanding the implacable hostility of the US to the Cuban Revolution.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio, Week of Christmas Eve, 2014

    Counter-Revolution in Cuba by Other Means

    The U.S. is establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in nearly 55 years, but Washington is still up to no good. “I think the people in the Obama administration have decided that this is just another way to overthrow the Cuban revolution,” said Netfa Freeman, of the International Committee for Freedom for the Cuban 5. “They still have the same disposition about Cuba, but they want to change how they go about destabilizing it.” The remaining three members of the Cuban 5, who were imprisoned in 1998 on espionage charges, were freed as part of the diplomatic breakthrough.

    Ferguson as Truth-Teller to the World

    Russians were shocked at Michael Brown’s killing and the scale of protests that followed, said Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley, just returned from a conference of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russian, in Moscow. “The small suburb of St. Louis is now known around the world,” said Kimberley, “and the people of Ferguson have really done an amazing thing in telling the world the truth about life in the United States, particularly for Black people.” Kimberley traveled as part of a delegation from UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition.

    U.S. Power Structure Searching for Slick Black Hope

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the BAR editor and columnist, renowned whistleblower and activist with the Hands Up Coalition-DC, said U.S. rulers confront a huge challenge: “How do we take control of the movement and provide it with a leader that will be accepted among the young?” Obama favorite Al Sharpton and much of the traditional civil rights leadership are vying for the job. The power structure “needs these organizations to provide a diversion away from people asking very fundamental questions about whether capitalism can meet the needs of Black people in this country.”

    The Ever-Morphing Police State

    New York police commissioner Bill Bratton, architect of the “Broken Windows” philosophy of policing, has other tricks up his sleeve, said Josmar Trujillo, of New Yorkers Against Bratton. “He’s here to figure out new, innovative ways to get into our lives,” such as “predictive policing,” a “muscled-up, proactive” approach that provides yet more forced encounters between cops and their Black and brown prey. “The police state that communities of color live in is, literally, killing people” – such as “Broken Windows” victim Eric Garner.

    Mumia Abu Jamal Daughter Dies

    Samiyah “Goldie” Davis Abdullah, the 35 year-old daughter of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, has succumbed to cancer. The mother of two girls and spoken word artist had just finished earning her masters degree in social work at the University of Pennsylvania. At Frackville State Prison, Abu Jamal told Prison Radio that his daughter “remains with us, echoing in our souls. She is a song we will sing forever.”

    Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

    Your browser doesn't support flash. Click the mic instead to download.

    Why I Don't Do Kwaanza

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Ron Karenga, the man who invented Kwaanza, headed the US organization, which was responsible for the murder of 4 Black Panthers in Southern California as a tool of COINTELPRO, and the torture of two of its own female members. Kwaanza may now be bigger than its inventor, but Karenga's crimes do cast a shadow on the holiday for many of us.

    Getting Rid of Al Sharpton and the Misleadership Class

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The young activists of the Ferguson “movement” may have altered the course of Black and U.S. history, “Thanks to the liberating model of Ferguson, there is the opportunity to thoroughly discredit the Black Misleadership Class” and move forward towards transformational change.

    Freedom Rider: Ferguson Reverberates Around the World

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The whole world wants to know where the “Ferguson” movement is going, and Russians are no exception. The author just returned from Moscow, where they “were curious about Barack Obama’s relationship with the constituency that supported him the most and why their needs are still not adequately addressed.”

    LET US SPEAK! LET US SPEAK! LET US SPEAK! Voices from Ferguson to Sharpton

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, BAR editor and columnist and Kevin Berends

    The spirit of the people in motion will often overcome the pretentions of their so-called leaders. Thus it was inevitable that young activists denied any part in Sharpton's stage-managed DC spectacle save that of crowd extras, briefly seized the mic to address the their peers, their elders and the world.

    December Surprise (Class struggle trumps Trail of Tricks)

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    With young, Black America’s sound
    New meaning to ‘boots on the ground!’
    Like a ‘surge,’ chum-rushing the stage
    Declaring: The Ferguson Age!

    Eric Garner, American Occupation, and the Decline of Empire

    ​by Danny Haiphong

    Like whole flocks of chickens coming home to roost, the deep contradictions that beset the U.S. empire have become acute, at home and abroad. “The militarized police state that is attempting to stifle the energy of the current movement has its roots in the Pentagon's efforts to put down the spontaneous Black rebellions of the mid 60's.”

    The Global Scourge of Police Killing Blacks

    by Lisa Tomlinson

    The issue of Black people being victims of systemic brutality, oppression and murder at the hands of the police is not limited to the United States. It is a global problem. If we are ever going to stop this barbaric use of authority to trample the civil and human rights of Black people we must open our eyes to what it happening on an international scale.

    Sacramento’s Black Mayor and the Minimum Wage

    by Seth Sandronsky

    If Kevin Johnson is “progressive,” then the term has become meaningless. The Sacramento mayor and charter school champion, husband of privatization zealot Michelle Rhee, has bought into the corporate argument that meaningful hikes in the minimum wage harm the economy, including the lowest paid workers. In the short term, he wants to “study” the issue to death.

    Would You Buy An Obamamobile From This Man?

    by Howard Wait

    “High Deductible Health Care Model” is President Obama’s legacy to the American people, complete with “skinny networks, overpriced medicines and more tricks and traps than a Halloween funhouse.” But, no need to worry. “After the deductible is paid, which will be never, health care is free!”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/15/14

    Sharpton Rally Rejects Young and Rebellious

    Aside from relatives of police murder victims, the speakers list at Saturday’s “Justice for All” event in Washington, DC, was dominated by conservative, Black establishment figures. “We came with the genuine intention to see whose voices they would elevate,” said Erika Totten, part of a youthful contingent of Ferguson activists that briefly took to the stage. “We kept being dismissed, so I said, ‘Stand behind me and follow me. We’re gonna shut it down, like we always do.’” Totten was interview by The Real News Network.

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the noted whistleblower and activist with Hands Up Coalition DC, said the Sharpton rally was an attempt to co-opt the growing movement. “The Obama administration has used a surrogate, Rev. Al Sharpton, to help corral that kind of energy and those kinds of issues back into the political system where those kinds of passions can die an unnatural death.”

    Obama Scrapes Bottom of Barrel to Choose Task Force Leader

    “It would have been hard for President Obama to find a more inappropriate choice” for co-chair of the new White House task force on police militarization than former DC police chief Charles Ramsey, said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. The Fund won $20 million in damages for police abuse of demonstrators during Ramsey’s tenure as chief, during which he committed massive violations of civil rights and instituted a military style of policing. “Social change never comes in the United State because Congress or the White House suddenly, benevolently decided to do the right thing,” said Verheyden-Hilliard. “It comes because there’s a people’s struggle in the streets and in the courts.”

    Nothing New in CIA Torture Report Except “Rectal Feeding”

    Most of the information in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s highly redacted report on CIA Torture was “already part of the public record,” with the exception of revelations on forced “rectal feeding” of detainees, said Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign. “It’s really rape – rape-torture,” said Dr. Boyle. “The significance of this report is that we now have a branch of the United States government making official findings of fact,” which, in legal terms, amounts to “an admission against interest.” Boyle is preparing to demand an immediate investigation into CIA torture by the International Criminal Court.

    Mumia: CIA = Crime All the Time

    “The CIA, the executive hand of the president, has been involved deeply in every crime known to man,” said America’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. The agency commits thousands of crimes every day, but is immune from prosecution under the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001. “That’s American law: the law of the outlaw,” said Abu Jamal.

    Psychologists Earn $80 Million Torturing Detainees

    A company owned by two psychologists was paid $80 million to design and oversee the CIA’s detainee torture program. Moreover, “there’s evidence that the American Psychological Association colluded with the CIA, the Department of Defense and the White House to adjust its ethics policy so that psychologists could consult and participate in interrogations and detention operations,” said Dr. Roy Eidelson, a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. Both the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association refused to allow their members to participate in the CIA’s torture programs.

    Obama Grants Bush Iraq War Immunity

    The Obama administration filed papers granting officials of the Bush administration immunity from prosecution for waging war against Iraq. Inder Comar, a California lawyer, argues that George Bush, Dick Cheney and their crew began a conspiracy to wage an illegal war years before Bush won the presidency. However, the Obama administration claims its predecessors were acting “within the legitimate scope of their employment” when they attacked Iraq, in 2003. In the end, said Comar, “this case is going to hinge on District of Columbia employment law.”

    America Was “Torture Empire of the World”

    Those who say torture is “contrary to U.S. values really don’t know beans about U.S. history, because this used to be the torture empire of the world,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. Speaking on Eutrice Leid’s show on the Progressive Radio Network, Dr. Horne pointed out that “the slave owner in the United States honed methods of torture against enslaved Africans to increase productivity and profit.” Dr. Horne’s latest book is titled Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow.

    Black Caucus and “Civil Rights” Groups in Pockets of Telecoms

    President Obama’s recent statement in favor of Internet neutrality went “even further than I expected,” said Kevin Zeese, a leader of net neutrality activists who set up camp outside the offices of the Federal Communications Commission. Zeese hopes to convince the FCC’s chairman to treat the Internet like a public utility. However, the Congressional Black Caucus and traditional civil rights organizations remain wedded to telecom corporations. “They are so deep in the pockets of AT&T and other telecoms, they have always done their bidding,” said Zeese. “Whether it’s mergers or neutrality, they take the wrong position” every time.

    Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

    Your browser doesn't support flash. Click the mic instead to download.

    "Teach For America" Trojan Horse Among Ferguson Activists?

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Teach For America has done vast and indisputable harm to black communities across the country, funded by hundreds of millions in deep corporate pockets and tens of millions of federal dollars. Could this be why the St. Louis TFA exec director was picked to meet the president, supposedly as one of the "young black activists"?

    It’s Not the Law, But Prosecutors, That Give Immunity to Killer Cops

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Attorney General Eric Holder, like his local counterparts, claims that “the law” renders him helpless to prosecute killer cops. That’s bogus, says the ACLU, which maintains there is no insurmountable bar to charges of police “reckless disregard” and “open defiance” of victims’ constitutional rights. But, don’t expect Holder to budge. “Police impunity is the domestic counterpart of the legal immunity that U.S. military personnel enjoy overseas.”

    Freedom Rider: Don’t March with Sharpton

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Al Sharpton is proud to serve as the U.S. president’s pit bull, and also doubles as a “leader” in the movement of the oppressed – the very definition of conflict of interest. Clearly, if he is to honor his pact with Power, he must betray the people, including those who rally to his banner in this weekend’s national march against police violence, in Washington.

    White House Refuses to Meet with Grieving Black Mothers Whose Son Were Executed by Cops

    by Bar Editor and Columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends

    This week, the political leadership of the United States will have a chance to look into the eyes of “nine African-American women who have lost family, loved ones and sons to excessive police violence.” Sadly, neither President Obama nor Attorney General Holder has agreed to meet with the mothers, whose visit to the nation’s capital was organized by CODEPINK, the Hands Up Coalition DC and Mothers Against Police Brutality.

    Black lives matter…(Too much to pimp on the Trail of Tricks)

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    So, why’s the War House
    Hosting you, our brilliant Black,
    Brown, Tan babies?
    Why’s the War House serenading
    You with cognitive dissonant
    Doo-Wop ‘Mistrust,’ like
    A torch song of unrequited love?

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